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  • Writer's pictureSara Aber

Hotels - do we block? Do we not?

While we have 7 suites on-site at New Park, you may have more guests coming in from out of town. The decision as to whether you request a block of hotel rooms is up to you - we'll share the pros, the cons, and the experiences from our perspective.


If your guests are coming in from out of town, it’s great to have them all in one spot, especially if some of them are flying in and don’t have a car. Shuttles are less expensive if they only have to make one hotel stop. If you don't hire a shuttle, it's helpful for your guests to be able to carpool.


If you’re planning to invest in a shuttle, you’ll want to not only make a hotel block, but also really emphasize to your guests the importance of choosing your hotel to make the festivities of the weekend seamless for your guests. A lot of guests tend to want to get AirBnBs and Uber to/from New Park…but Ubers are hard to come by in this area at 1am. If many of your guests get AirBnBs, we recommend hiring Main Street Drivers, a designated driving service, that can act as a mini-shuttle for your late night guests.


If you have a large wedding or it’s coming up soon, our recommendation is to look at hotels as soon as you can. Summer and Fall weekends are very prime for us in the Finger Lakes.


There are some weekends that are harder to get a hotel block than others. If Cornell is having an event - parent’s weekend, move-in weekend, etc. then they may choose not to allow hotel blocks that weekend. Which means - they still have rooms, but your guests have to pay retail for them ($$$) with no discounts. If you come across this issue, go to the smaller boutique hotels, or just try another one. Hotels have assured us that the only weekend that they *never* do a hotel block is Cornell Grad weekend / Memorial Day, but then we hear differently from couples sometimes.


Let’s look at your specific choices:


Hotel Ithaca

This is the most popular choice for hotel blocks amongst our couples, so we believe they must give the best deals. They also have practical amenities like a free, ground level parking lot.


Trumansburg B&Bs

If you have a smaller group, we have some excellent Bed & Breakfasts in Trumansburg. Halsey House and 16 Elm were both recently taken over by new owners and have recent renovations. Inn at Gothic Eves has a hot tub, on-site spa, and the owner makes awesome TikToks. Glass Magnolia is in Interlaken, which is a bit further, but it’s the largest B&B in the area, with 11 rooms, and the breakfasts are made by a former chef, so you’re well taken care of there. If your guests are comfortable with a 20 minute drive, we are happy to plug our Mill Creek Cabins in Lodi, fingerlakescabins.com. We can sleep 10 people across 3 cabins.


Camping

The absolute CLOSEST lodging to New Park (other than New Park's suites) is Spruce Row Campground. It's only half a mile away and offers tented camping spots, RV camping spots, and cabins. That said, your guests should not walk to/from - it's very dark at night, no sidewalks, and a winding, country road where drivers don't expect pedestrians. Taughannock Falls also has camping.


Marriott / Canopy by Hilton

These are both super nice hotels that your guests will certainly be happy in. If you do a hotel block, you may get to keep the points for all of the guests who stay! They are a bit more on the pricier side, and your guests may have to pay for parking


Downtown Ithaca Inns

Argos Inn, Henry Miller Inn, and Greyhaven Motel provide a more boutique experience. Greyhaven is a retro remodeled motel - they embrace the parallel to Schitt’s Creek. Argos leans chic while Henry Miller leans historical. Greyhaven has 27 rooms and has been chosen as a hotel block a few times. The other two are great options, but we don’t see them make lists very often.


AirBnBs

We have a ton of vacation rentals in the area (including ours! We have a sweet cottage in Interlaken, you can book at fingerlakescabins.com). They can accommodate a lot of people and your guests can choose their own amenities. However, it makes shuttling people very difficult, unless you hire Main Street Drivers (a designated driving service) for a smaller shuttle service. We have tons of lake houses right across the street from New Park - but they’re quite pricey on summer weekends, and often have minimum stay requirements - tell your guests to book these early!


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